I was meditating on baptism today.
This weekend, I am becoming a God Mother! Who would think, at my age? Like Sarah. But still. It is an honor.
My good friends Mark and Joan are becoming grandparents, and their daughter Amy just has a little baby girl. Growing up, Amy would come over to my house and play the piano. I would watch her when her parents were busy, and we always had a nice time together. I’m sure she thought of me as a funny old lady, but she was always very kind and didn’t make me feel like it. She brought me drawings from school now and then, and I would post them on the fridge.
Now, she is a grown lady with a little girl of her own. And I’m going to vow before the congregation to guide her in her faith until the day I day!
This made me want to refresh my memory on the blessing of baptism in the Bible.
So I did!
I learned something very interesting:
According to many people, baptism was presented as an alternative to circumcision. During the transition from Judaism to Christianity, many of Christ’s followers and priests were torn. The Commandment in the Old Testament clearly stated that to be in covenant with God, men must partake in the tradition of circumcision.
I brought this up in Bible Study and there was a very funny coincidence: during all this talk about baptism, one of my friends told me that he devotes his time to spreading high quality water around. He says that in San Antonio soft water is especially important to use in our homes because municipal water is so overly mineralized. His company is called Healing Water Systems, which is exactly what the baptism is all about. He’s going to install it into my house this week, for which I am very grateful and I recommend to all of you, my readers, to do the same!
Anyhoo, so Jesus did not say that circumcision was necessary as the other Jewish priests did. Baptism was a soft and beautiful way to initiate a Christian into oneness with God and membership in a sacred allegiance without a traumatizing, and potentially risky, operation.
The viewpoint that feels more in line with my personal truth is that nothing but FAITH is required to join the covenant. Neither the brutality of circumcision nor the beauty of baptism are necessary to enter God’s covenant. God doesn’t need us to prove our love with anything external. How? Simply keep God in your heart and in your thoughts, through prayer and study of The Word and charitable actions.
On that note, I have some charitable actions to attend to, beginning with cooking dinner for my hungry husband.